Shadow of the Demon Lord @ Gamezilla RPG night
The village blacksmith - personable and dependable
Human Age: 48
Build: Hands as big as a goblin’s head
Str: 13 Agi: 12 Int: 9 Will: 9
Heal rate: 3
3 sets of clothing, nice cloak, 4 throwing daggers, long knife, sword, healing potion, scroll with rank 0 spell, blacksmiths toolkit
Professions: Blacksmith, Soldier
Me? We have had the smithy here for generations; in fact some say the village is here because my ancestor built the smithy here. I don’t know if that be true but we have been here blacksmithing a long time. There is coke deposits not far and the iron in the area is good quality so there maybe something to it.
I was apprenticed in the trade since I could hold a hammer so I know my craft but I was a bit rebellious in my youth, who wasn’t? Thought I knew everything, thought I was better than being a village blacksmith. It would have come to naught but we had the troops pass through and didn’t their uniforms get the girls. Both my sisters hung around the square until my da chased them home. Had a right blowup with my da, I wanted to enlist and he knocked me to the ground. We both have a bit of a temper, slow to rouse but then watch out. Anyway being as stubborn as him, I ran off and joined up.
I soldiered for 3 years. I fought and had friends killed right next to me. I heard the screams of wounded men and knew the joy and shame that it wasn’t me with my guts hanging out. As soon as I could I mustered out, burnt my uniform and came back with my tail between my legs. I have seen the world and I don’t much like it. My sleepy little village is my home and it fits me like a glove! Turns out my da had done much the same thing to his da when he was my age so the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as they say. Luckily my younger brothers have more sense than me or da and have stayed around.
I met a beautiful woman, Fanna, at a marrying fair and after courting, I made her my wife. The World Mother blessed us with a handsome son after a year and for 6 months we were the happiest family. My wife doted on him and talked loudly about how he was the most handsome boy ever. I think that is what attracted the fay. They can be a spiteful race.
One day, he went from being a happy and loud boy to a thing that just quietly watched you. His boisterous laughter became a soft chuckle and the sparkle in his eyes became a serious look like he was studying you or sizing you up. The final straw was when I took him to the smithy. As soon as I stepped over the threshold he went mad, wriggling and screaming a quiet scream that was like cold water down your back. As soon as I took him outside, back came the serious look, this time with hint of reproach. I knew what he was then.
We had 2 months before the district council met and I could surrender him to them. I knew that most changelings barely last a couple of weeks not months so I was hoping it wouldn’t come to that. People have a way of looking at you funny even though it is the fairies doing. The problem was that he didn’t dissolve like he was meant to and he wasn’t a bad kid. A bit strange sure, he was never going to be a blacksmith but he had his own little ways. If the council had met sooner there wouldn’t have been a problem but he started to grow on Fanna.
The day of the council, I stood in front of the justices and told them what had happened. I asked what should be done with the child. Fanna had pushed me to ask if we could raise the child but to my shame I couldn’t voice the words in front of my peers. The judgment came back that the child would be handed over to the witch-finder to be taken to a special place and raised away from any fay influences to become a productive member of society. I think they say that to anyone in our situation, it stops the arguments of anyone who has bonded with the changeling. It didn’t help that they all wore symbols of the new god.
Fanna was withdrawn for days but then seemed to perk up a little. I thought she was over the changeling and we could start rebuilding our family. How wrong I was.
The first time it happened someone from the village came and got me from the forge. A family had come through with a boy about the age ours would have been. Fanna had seen them and had started hugging and kissing the boy. When I got there villagers were restraining Fanna, the father had a knife out, the mother was hysterical and the little boy was in tears. My blood ran cold as Fanna explained that the little boy was our boy just in a different form, changelings can do that. She was so sure.
I took her home and held her until she stopped crying and slept. The next morning she was fine and didn’t really remember what had happened. But it happened again and then again. Each time it was harder to calm her. Then she took to roaming the countryside trying to find the special place they were keeping her son. The villagers and farmers were kind, they kept bringing her back but I could sense the disapproval.
One day she went wandering in a storm. She was brought back but she was soaked. The next day she had a fever; 2 days later she was dead. I am ashamed to say I gave thanks to The Seer for his help in overcoming my problems. We buried her with all the trappings of a good old faith funeral and I mourned her and my family.
I could have become bitter but I threw myself into my work. The rhythm of the forge, the hammering of iron to steel stilled my mind. If work slacked off, I made knives, I don’t know why but I became quite good at it. This one on my belt is one of mine, feel the balance, perfect. I am known in the local area for my knives and I charge a fair price.
I can’t say I hate the fay for what they did, they are the fay. My Da always said that blacksmiths are common targets for fairy envy as we work with the stuff they can never touch so I can’t blame Fanna for doting on our son. The fay may have been after me. I can’t even blame the stinking new god justices or witch-finders. They were doing the right thing for the community, changelings can breed fear. I am still ashamed I didn’t ask if we could raise the boy, I knew they wouldn’t let us but Fanna deserved it.
Even though it was a long time ago, I do wonder every now and then what happened to my boy, actually both of them. I hope they have been happy and loved, for Fanna’s sake of course. I try to believe that as I know what probably happened and that is not a comforting thought.
Anyway my glass is empty and I think it is your turn to buy the beer.